Pagcor junks PhilWeb’s mobile lottery proposal

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State-run casino regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has turned down embattled PhilWeb Corporation’s proposed mobile lottery, citing the government’s effort to control proliferation of gambling in the country.

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In a letter to PhilWeb dated September 20, Pagcor Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrea Domingo disapproved PhilWeb’s proposal to employ “Pagcor Text Bonanza,” which can be an alternative to utilize the company’s technology services for Pagcor’s gaming ventures.

“We regret to inform you that… the board has denied the proposal of PhilWeb to introduce a text-based betting system called Pagcor Text Bonanza at this time, considering that the current policy of the government is to strictly regulate and ensure non-proliferation of gambling avenues which are accessible to lower income brackets of society,” Domingo said.

Last August 24, PhilWeb president Dennis Valdes wrote Pagcor, proposing the text messaging lottery system for which they can provide the technology needed.

PhilWeb has been fighting for its survival since early August when President Rodrigo Duterte said he will destroy oligarchs like PhilWeb’s then-chairman Roberto Ongpin, as well as eliminate all forms of online gaming and gambling.

Through the Pagcor’s 286 e-Games outlets, PhilWeb employs 700 personnel and 5,000 others who are e-Games operators.

Operating for 14 years as a service provider for the e-Games outlets, it has remitted to Pagcor over P14 billion, which the gaming regulator used in its pro-poor programs.

In 2015, PhilWeb remitted more than P2.1 billion to the gaming regulator and also paid over P280 million in corporate income tax, VAT and other taxes.

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